Part of our “Giving Notice” Series
by Lulu Lloyd
I have made it very clear to everyone who asks that I will be a part of closing night of School of Rock on Broadway. I was a part of opening night after all and was so incredibly proud to be involved even before that during the developmental lab in April 2015. This show has been a part of my life for over three years. I rephrase that: this show has saved my life the last three years. I went though a significant deal of personal trauma and loss during the time I was on Broadway and being around my stage family was my stability. I had every intention of staying until the end.
I am the swing and dance captain so I wear a lot of hats. I cover a total of nine tracks, seven ensemble and two principal. As the Dance Captain, I have been responsible for helping maintain the choreography of the show as well as train the replacements, which we have had a lot of, since the core of our cast is made up of 9-13 year olds. Over the three years I worked on Broadway, I helped teach a total of 183 tracks to more than 70 actors. I never intended on working as a dance captain, as I never trained in dance. But I took the job very seriously, fell in love with teaching and did well. I loved performing in the show, as well and found that I wasn’t bored by the tracks because I never really knew what I was in for. Every night was different for me.
But about six months ago, I started to loose a passion for performing in general. I didn’t know why. I wasn’t flexing the muscles I had before I made it on Broadway. I wasn’t singing really at all, and I have always considered myself an actor and singer first. The acting I was doing wasn’t challenging anymore, although it was mostly still fun. I confused my lack of using those muscles for a thought that maybe I wasn’t suppose to be performing at all anymore and actually made a loose plan to quit the business altogether when the show closed. I also wasn’t auditioning much and wasn’t interested in it.
But an audition came around for a new musical and long story short, I ended up in five callbacks. With each new callback, I was more and more excited and happy. Not even at the thought of getting the job, but more that I was singing again. Really singing. It felt so good. The last callback fell on the day we got our Broadway closing notice. I felt a great sense of relief hearing the news and that was somewhat shocking to me. I didn’t know if I had the new job yet, but I was ready to move on regardless. The callback taught me that.
Two days later, I got the offer to play a lead on a First National Tour. I have ONE job. I have two understudies (who I will treat like solid gold). I will be singing again! The callbacks reinvigorated my desire that never went away, it just became an unlit flame. I’m happy to say it is blazing again and I am so excited to get to work on a new project. Considering I thought perhaps I wasn’t suppose to work on any more projects, this is exciting to me. I am forever grateful for School of Rock and everything it gave me. Working so closely with the kids was the greatest joy. Being there for the company when they couldn’t be onstage was my pleasure. The show is beyond special to me and I will be sad to leave, too. I am grateful it taught me so many lessons and challenged me in ways I never thought possible. And I am getting used to the fact that I won’t close the show, but I will actually have my very own Happy Trails. Pinch me!